Derecktor Eyes Military Deal

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Derecktor Shipyards could be building high-speed ferries for the U.S. military in Bridgeport if it and its partners can edge out some tough competition for what could be a $234m defense contract. Exactly how many consortiums have bid on the Joint High Speed Vessel for the Army and Navy is unclear. Only two groups have verified they are going after the contract to develop a completely new vessel for the Navy.

Derecktor and its partners, Maersk Line Ltd., which is the U.S. subsidiary of Dutch A.P. Moller Maersk Group, and naval architects Gibbs & Cox confirmed they're in the contest this month. Louisiana-based Bollinger Shipyards Inc. is pursuing the deal with two Australian-based companies, INCAT shipyard and Revolution Design, two companies in Washington state, and Massachusetts-based shipyard Gladding-Hearn.

The company said that Derecktor would build the new high-speed ferries at its Seaview Avenue shipyard in Bridgeport, should it win the contract. The exact number of ferries has yet to be determined but it is expected to be eight. Johnson said it would be too early to say how many jobs would be added at Derecktor if it wins. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the design portion of the contract will be awarded in the early part of next year; it will then award the contract for the first ship during the fourth quarter of 2008. The total contract is worth $234m, but that will be awarded in phases.

The Pentagon is looking for a boat that's 450 feet in length or less and can carry 600 tons of vehicles and supplies for 1,200 miles at 35 knots or better, Slade said. About 40 people would crew the vessel, which would be used to move troops, vehicles and supplies onto beaches where normal, deeper draft vessels can't usually go. Source: Connecticut Post

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